I had the privilege of attending a weekend writer’s workshop in 2017 taught by Christal Presley. The workshop topic was Memoir Writing, but I walked away having learned not only about this particular genre, but also invaluable tips on creative writing in general. Christal also taught us about the publication process and the “business” of sharing our writing via a variety of venues. I never thought it possible to learn all that I did in one weekend! Christal is such an energetic, engaging and genuine person. I cannot say enough good things about her personality and her teaching style! I can honestly say that I was sad when the workshop ended, but I left feeling as if Christal had bestowed upon each of us the gift of confidently believing that we each have a story worth sharing with the world.
Lynessa Sheppard Plotnick
As a college professor accustomed to scholarly writing, I thought finding my
"memoir-voice" would be an easy transition. It wasn’t. Participating in Christal Presley’s memoir class helped. Her gentle, supportive encouragement, her straight-talking feedback, and insights about good writing sparked my classmates and me toward more fluid story-telling. I highly recommend her to you!
Beverly J. Armento
I attended a memoir writing weekend retreat hosted by Christal. She created a warm and safe environment for our group to explore and to share our innate writing talents. Christal is one of the most supportive, caring, and wisest teachers I have ever had the pleasure to learn from. The lessons from that retreat have stayed with me, and I look forward to attending more retreats with her even though I live in New York City! Thank you, Christal!
I’m a retired reporter who has taken several writing courses to widen my genre. I struggled with creative writing because I seem to be hard-wired to write nonfiction. Christal's memoir writing course was the bridge I didn’t realize I needed to connect me to creative and other forms of writing. It was the first course to inspire and challenge me to have fun with writing again. It was enlightening to learn that truth is not always about facts, and that one of the first lessons in memoir writing--as in life--is about forgiveness.
I was extremely anxious about attending a writer’s workshop on memoir. I am not a writer. After two minutes--maybe one minute with Christal--anxiety drifted out the window. Christal’s warm, friendly, joyful, and utterly honest presentation of herself made me feel at home. She created a safe and caring environment that allowed all of us to learn from her and each other, and share meaningful information and insights that will enhance not only my writing, but my life as well. I am a writer now!
Christal taught one of my favorite memoir writing classes. She gave us more than lessons on writing. She inspired us and left us students with a strong bond of support with each other and excited to follow our dreams.
The best part of my weekend with Christal was the small group dynamics you never can experience in a conference setting. This class was chock-full of helpful "how to" information. Having us do our own writing exercises for critiquing as we explored what a writers' group looks like, was also extremely helpful.
Christal is not only an excellent writing teacher and coach, but she is adept at building a spirit of community within her classes! My experience as a student was very positive. I learned a great deal about my own strengths and challenges and made long-term friends! Don’t miss an opportunity to learn from one of the best!
In 2015, I enrolled in a memoir-writing class led by Christal. Being in her classroom was both a privilege and a delight. Christal cut through "the noise" of a traditional educational environment, and found ways to make an intimidating subject matter both manageable and tangible. Her instruction inspired better writing from me, and her interactive writing exercises helped me to reach in and find a more authentic voice.
I attribute her course as the catalyst that led to the completion of my first memoir volume, and I look forward to being under her tutelage again soon.